The Philosophy Of The Coin Toss

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Before writing the Oct. 25 Sports Talk, I e-mailed former Payson High School baseball coach Teddy Pettet to warn him I would be taking a few shots, in print, about his unlucky streak in calling coin flips.

I asked him if he had ever won a coin toss; I couldn't remember one.

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Teddy Pettet fielded some great baseball teams while at PHS, but he never won a coin toss.

Pettet, now teaching and coaching in Idaho, was involved in several flips during his 17-year coaching tenure at Payson High School.

The flips were needed when two or more teams tied in the regular season standings and seedings into the state tournament were determined by coin tosses.

Hours after sending the e-mail, I received his reply, which read:

"To answer your question, I have, honestly, never won any coin toss of any importance regarding seeding to any sporting event that I can remember. My record is perfect and I will attempt in the future to avoid the temptation of calling one. My record probably stands at around 0-18, give or take a few.

"The only coin toss I ever so-called "won" was when we had a three-way tie with Fountain Hills and Globe for the two remaining playoff spots the year we won the state baseball tourney in 1999.

"We all threw up a coin and the "winner" got to sit out the first game and wait for the loser of the first game to play for the chance to win and go to state. After the toss, which I "won," Globe and Fountain Hills each had tails and I had heads. Globe then beat Fountain Hills in the first game, sending them to state. Eldon Dallas (Globe head coach) then came over to me and the Fountain Hills coach (Mike Briguglio) and said, "Hey, let's just flip a coin now and determine who will be the No. 2 seed and who will be the No. 3 seed." I called tails and, of course, it came up heads. Globe was then the No. 2 seed and the winner of our game (vs. Fountain Hills) was the No. 3 seed.

"After I thought about "winning" the coin toss, I suddenly realized that Fountain Hills and Globe each had TWO chances to qualify for state while Payson, the WINNER of the coin toss only had one. Go figure! Anyway, it all worked out and we won it all. I'll gladly lose coin tosses for the opportunity to win the state title.

"By the way, I have made it a habit now to never call a coin toss, period. I let the other coach call it and if he wins, he wins! If he loses, I win! There must be something to this method because I let the other coaches all call the coin tosses at the Idaho 3A State Baseball Tournament this year and we were the home team every game. Go figure."

Listen up

With the Arizona State University football team in a losing streak and at least two players claiming team members are loafing in practice sessions, head coach Dirk Koetter might heed the advice I saw on an ASU student's sweatshirt.

It read, "W.W.K.D."

"What would Kush Do?"

Vintage shoot

A black powder rifle and pistol shoot will be held Nov. 9 to 13 south of Rye. It will not be at the trap range as reported earlier, but rather at another site east of Beeline near FR 419. Signs will be posted.

Among the events to be held are pistol shoots, trail walks, squirrel shoots, a mountain-man run, shotgun shoots and junior shoots.

Skill demonstrations will be held Friday and Saturday, and traders with antique and early American items are welcome. Vendors must check in before setting up. The fee for a family is $30, which includes a Saturday evening chili dinner; for singles, the fee is $20.

All campsites are dry, so participants should bring their own water and firewood.

For more information, call Pete Waichulaitis at (480) 833-2788 or Mac McCurdy, (602) 989-2772.

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